Afraid of fever, commitment, or sex? Here are the names of some less popular phobias. This time in the phobia dictionary, we review letters F and G.
Even though all phobias are irrational fears, some phobias might seem more irrational than others. But the truth is, that perception comes mostly from the person living with the phobia. That is because the level of danger may be more or less significant, depending on the person hence why phobias are so specific and individual.
If you haven’t already, check out our other articles in the dictionary:
Time to share some more common phobias. Let’s review them!
Febriphobia: Fear of Fever or Injury
Fever is probably one of the most common symptoms of an infection. It is the body’s natural defense reaction. But this symptom can also develop many other health issues if we don’t treat it. So, it might be rational to be afraid of fever at some point. Febriphobia, however, is the irrational and extreme fear of having a fever. It is an overreaction to a common symptom.
According to Gunduz, Usak, Koksal, and Canbal in their 2016 Why Fever Phobia Is Still Common? research this phobia might be based more on the consequences of fever and not on fever itself. They established:
Although fever is a very useful sign of illness, it also evokes fear and anxiety. It is not the fever itself but the possible complications of the fever and accompanying symptoms that give rise to fear. Fever phobia is described as unrealistic and exaggerated misconceptions of parents whose children have a fever.Gunduz, Usak, Koksal, and Canbal (2016)
In that way, febriphobia is a common phobia. It’s hard to diagnose because it is often covered by the anxiety of the moment. Since symptoms of a fever are also really uncomfortable and annoying the phobia’s symptoms can get mixed with the fever’s signs. Some people with febriphobia might not even realize they have a phobia.
Febriphobia is also known as fibriphobia, fibriophobia, and pyrexeophobia. This phobia is a specific phobia of injury because the fever is itself a symptom of sickness. Interestingly, people with this phobia usually experience symptoms of hot and cold flashes, along with other symptoms such as trembling and elevated blood pressure. So, the symptoms of this phobia can make the phobic episode even worse and bring even more suffering to the person.
Gamophobia: Fear of Commitment
Know someone that seems to always be running away from their marriage or serious relationships? Well, that person might have a phobia. Marriage and serious relationships involve many obligations that both partners should fulfill. One of the main and most important is commitment. That is a key aspect of human relationships.
To understand this phobia, we first need to understand what commitment is. In human relationships, commitment is an attitude demonstrated by behavior and thoughts; it is an explicit and formal relationship statement. Also, commitment is something that is built and expected to be maintained over time. That is why gamophobia is so complex.
But the fear of commitment, like many other phobias, is a relatively new subject of study. It is a common phobia but has not been a well-researched topic. Two of its foremost researchers are Dixon and Hodalska, who exposed the subject under the name of Fear of I Love You on the 2015 book Fear and Anxiety in the 21st Century and explained that:
…fear of relationships has in recent decades increased and that men have started to drift further away and hide in their metaphorical shells… fear of commitment may have many roots which stem from childhood experiences, gender roles, social expectations, and the changing reality. The problem may also be one of communication.Dixon and Hodalska (2015)
Gamophobia is an extreme and irrational fear of commitment within relationships. In this specific phobia, the object of the phobia is a situation and the consequences it carries for the person. People with this phobia are morbidly afraid of getting committed to life-long relationships.
One of the main symptoms of this phobia is a tendency to avoid the topic of commitment or marriage. Some people with this phobia might even avoid relationships, serious or otherwise. Most people don’t see these situations as part of a phobia itself.
Genophobia: Fear of Sexual Intimacy
This is an interesting phobia. Genophobia is an extreme and irrational fear of sexual intimacy or sexual intercourse. That means people with genophobia have a specific phobia that can range from sexual intercourse itself through to all other sexual acts.
Sexual contact, or thought about sexual contact can trigger severe panic attacks in people with genophobia.
El-Hadidy, Eissa, and Zayed in their 2016 research Female circumcision as a cause of genophobia, established the following:
Genophobia is the fear of sexual intercourse. People with this fear may be frightened of any sexual behavior, or only of intercourse itself. People develop genophobia for several reasons. Like all phobias, the main cause is former incidents of severe trauma, especially sexual assault or abuse.El-Hadidy, Eissa, and Zayed (2016)
In most phobias, the cause can be a combination of many factors. But in this specific phobia, sexual trauma is known to be one of its principal causes due to its adverse effects on the psyche. Sexual trauma can come from any non-consensual sex experience and leave a severe scar on the victim.
Also, this phobia can be related to vital religious or social concepts in which the action or the experience of sex brings a strong guilty conscience. People with this phobia tend to be secretive about it because they are afraid that others will perceive them as damaged or unusual if they find out.
We don’t like being scared. But it is easier to deal with fear when we know what is happening. In the case of the first phobia, febriphobia is not popular because the symptoms can get mixed with the fever symptoms, so the person might not realize they are experiencing a phobia.
In the second case, gamophobia, there is a misconception about this phobia, so people don’t recognize it as one. And in the case of the third phobia, genophobia, most people hide it because of the social consequences.
Society’s misconceptions create situations that have to change if we want to conquer well-ness in most of the human population.